Mindsets are shifting
This season, the talk of the town is designer footwear collaborations. Recently, Slowear announced a new partnership with Sebago – two companies with heritage, style, and craftsmanship. The result focused on reshaping the silhouettes of the classic DAN model, the penny loafer, Sebago’s signature item. And although these collaborations are being rethought, there are signs of a reaction as consumers grow disenchanted with sneakers- exacerbated by product saturation.
There’s a sense that brands want to move away from the typically short-term drop nature of the sneaker industry. Long-term organic partnerships are the new ideal brand.
SLOWEAR, the Italian multi-brand retail concept that shares a sense of aesthetics and modernity, collaborated with SEBAGO, a clothing, footwear, and accessories brand –
That helps to explain why fashion brands are turning their attention to specialist shoe brands, where there has been an uptick in popularity in recent years. As fashion houses and footwear companies unite, they benefit from the immersion of cross-pollinating. There is undoubtedly a growing interest in developing cool projects and consumers’ willingness to try something different. But this trend will require brands and retailers to change how they bring products to market. Those that don’t make this fashion-oriented shift will face potential sales challenges in a volatile marketplace.
Sebago has grown a devoted following by catering to its specific communities. They produce unflashy, earnestly functional shoes with different benefits, ranging from sustainable materials to technical performance. New product offerings often resonate with young value-driven consumers who embrace new lifestyle priorities. They’re also gaining traction with style setters; this trend is reflected by the Italian fashion brand Slowwear.
And although the new footwear universe is dominated by a young male demographic, SebagoXSlowwear aim to create something with a point of view. All of this requires a mindset shift.
The collaborative efforts focus on functionality and deepen each other’s understanding, allowing the brands to propose something honest and radical without any compromise. It is why their products are aesthetically unique and have a strong personality, which means the possibilities become even more significant; in 2023, the emphasis will be on finding partners that can contribute to building good products collaborations that can take shape in various forms- with the care and dedication it deserves.
Shell Cordovan, a leather of the highest quality, resists creasing and wear and tear, transforming the Classic DAN into a highly hard-wearing shoe. This shoe is for customers looking for unique shoes that transcend fashions and current trends. The same model is available in butter-soft-grained calfskin—another elegant yet timeless and durable choice.
Agata Drogowska recently had the privilege to interview the creative director of Slowear, Marco Muggiano about the collaboration.
Agata Drogowska: Could you talk to STYLE LUJO about how the collaboration with Sebago came about and what you aim to achieve?
Marco Muggiano: collaboration that was born from a shared history. A very long heritage, competence, iconic models, and the will to bring all of this into the future. We have always loved Sebago as a brand, a true icon in every gentleman’s wardrobe, as much as Slowear’s selected collections are. It was a fit since the beginning.
AD: Out of all the footwear brands, why Sebago
MM: Sebago has become the true epitome of an international brand, which is also how we like to think of Slowear. As Sebago is known for its fine craftsmanship and for creating the first classic penny loafer, partnering with Sebago was a natural fit.
AD: At present, there is the classic DAN model featured in the collection. Do you anticipate moving further in the development process by adding more models to the collection?
MM: There is always that possibility, but we cannot confirm anything is in the works.
AD: In your words, talk to STYLE LUJO about the unique characteristics and true essence of the SLOWEAR brand.
MM: Slowear is a family business and an Italian lifestyle project stemming from a long industrial history, combining four historic Italian fashion brands with a high specialization level. Slowear, built on this heritage of know-how and product-centric passion, believes in creating durable clothing that surpasses time and fleeting trends – spreading the idea of a more ethical and sustainable consumption model. But also, we are a multi-brand retail concept that has won hearts and minds worldwide. Our community – a group of like-minded consumers who share a passion for good taste, pleasure, and beauty – knows to come to Slowear to find pieces that convey a sense of aesthetics, modernity, and expertise.
AD: Define how fine-tailoring is implemented as an expression of your brand. Talk to us in detail about the SS2023 Slower collection – what sets this collection apart from all the other fashion collections for SS23?
MM: Colors, patterns, and relaxed vibes are the ingredients of the new SS23 collection from the Incotex, Zanone, Montedoro, and Glanshirt brands. After all, “Summer is a state of mind,” the four brands of the Slowear Group have discovered an effective formula for wearing summer every day and invigorating by its vitality. An original style ties the brand collections together, featuring color, floral patterns, and the timeless striped pattern used in multiple variations. While color certainly cannot be lacking in a summer collection, for the SS23, it is explored in all its facets: from the deep blues of the sea to warm nude hues and on to the more garish vitamin colors that find wide use, especially in knitwear and shirts. The same can be said of the floral pattern, revisited in the SS23 with a refined and vintage flavor. The striped pattern conquers thanks to its originality and variety: horizontal, vertical, thin, and wide stripes. A real revelry that restores the taste of the Italian summer. Another essential element common to the brands is developing a collection that is increasingly attentive to social and environmental responsibility, from choosing fabrics to processing and coloring with reduced ecological impact to complete process monitoring: a journey that will lead the entire group to achieve B-corp certification by 2023.
AD: Did you find the same attention to detail in the Sebago footwear collection?
MM: Absolutely! Sebago brand is known for its attention to detail and craftsmanship. The classic DAN is unmatched in its craftsmanship.
AD: What will be your advertising/ marketing strategy (concerning the SEBAGO collaboration) to attract a volatile Gen Z and younger millennial audience?
MM: As we said, this collection is intended for true connoisseurs, and we firmly believe that a stylish product speaks for itself. Yet we have a global plan on social media to attract curious people fond of heritage brands. Contrary to what most think, we firmly believe that new generations have a special relationship with heritage brands and have a solid ability to recognize quality; this project responds to this need.
*The capsule will be available exclusively throughout the Slowear retail network and at slowear.com.